Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fish With Curry Sauce (Ga Li Yu Pien)

We had stocked up on a ton (well, more like 10 pounds) of frozen tilapia about a month ago when we were at the 99 Ranch Market and I've been cooking these guys up on a nightly basis these past few days in a number of different Chinese preparations. Tilapia filets, being boneless, sweetly mild in flavor, and inexpensive, are a perfectly good substitute for Orange Roughy, Cod, Sole, or Catfish. I've made the tilapia with a black vinegar sauce, a black bean sauce, and then, most recently, with a Chinese-style curry sauce, which is super easy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

1 1/2 lbs. Tilapia filets

1 egg white
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp. rice wine

2 tbsp. minced red onion or shallots

1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp. chicken base/powder
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. rice wine
1 tbsp. sesame oil
5 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. cornstarch

3 tbsp. curry powder
3/4 cup green peas
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cornstarch

1 tbsp. minced scallion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Rinse the fish filets, pat dry and cut into 2" x 2" pieces. Place in a shallow dish and combine with marinade ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes. 

2. Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.

3. Place 1 cup of cornstarch on a plate or shallow dish. Coat the fish slices lightly in the cornstarch.

4. In the meantime, heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a saute pan over high heat. Fry the fish slices in 2 or more batches (do not overcrowd) 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined dish to drain.

5. Once all the fish slices have been cooked, pour off most of the oil in the saute pan, leaving about 2 tsp. Return pan to the cooktop and reduce heat to medium. Add the minced red onion and curry powder and saute for 1 minute.

6. Add the sauce and bring sauce to a boil. Stir in the peas. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add additional salt if needed.

7. Once sauce has thickened (about 1-2 minutes), add the fish slices. Toss to coat the fish with the sauce, then immediately pour onto a serving platter. Garnish with chopped cilantro and scallions. 

Tilapia marinated with egg white, cornstarch, pepper, salt and rice wine.

Cilantro, scallions, and red onion

The Sauce.

Rice wine, ketchup, sesame oil and chicken base.

Lightly coat the fish slices in cornstarch.

Saute the fish slices until lightly browned.

Pour off all but 2 tsp. of oil in the pan and saute the red onion and curry powder for 1 minute.

Add the sauce ingredients.

Add the peas. Taste sauce and adjust for seasoning (pinch of extra salt) if needed.

Add the fish.

Garnish with cilantro and scallions.

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